If you're a filmmaker, what do you do when your film franchise keeps raking in the big bucks at the box office even though the plots are as thin as the hair on Vin Diesel's head? You milk it for all its worth and for the latest installment of The Fast And The Furious franchise, it's fortunately worth it as Fast Five takes on a more believable story to go with the continuing suspension of one's disbelief and, ironically, a lot less car chases.
Fast Five takes off where the previous movie, Fast & Furious, ended, with Brian O'Conner and Mia Toretto breaking out Mia's brother, Dominic "Dom" Toretto, from a prison transport. The three go on separate ways soon after with Brian and Mia hooking up with Vince--Dom's best friend from the very first The Fast And The Furious film--in Brazil to steal three cars from a train.
To make a long story short, both Brian and Dom bring back nearly all the supporting characters from all four previous The Fast And The Furious movies to take on the biggest and most ambitious score of their lives: steal over $100 million from a businessman involved in illegal activities and split it equally among them.
While the movie is heavy on the action right from the start, the story doesn't get left behind. As a matter of fact, there's a lot more character development in this movie than in the previous four movies combined despite having a lot more characters than usual. Of course, the movie is still centered on Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner and Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto but nearly enough exposure is given to all the supporting characters' quirks while Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's presence as a law enforcement officer assigned to bring both O'Connor and Toretto back stateside only adds more testosterone to this steroid hormone-driven movie.
Of course, this being a car-themed action flick, Fast Five sees a good dose of automotive treats although not as much as the past four movies and that's good since there are a lot more chances for moviegoers to delve into the more coherent plot. Granted, you still have to check your disbelief at the door for some of the stunts you'll see--we seriously doubt a nitrous oxide-equipped Dodge Charger can pull a bank safe out of the wall, even if there were two of them pulling at the same time--but the stunts and car crashes more than make up for it. As a matter of fact, we haven't seen that many police cars get thrashed in a movie since the first The Blues Brothers movie.
As for the cars, Fast Five continues what Fast & Furious started and that's to put more American steel on celluloid. Aside from the modern Charger, there's also a modern Challenger and, of course, Dom's classic B-bodied Charger. There's also a smattering of Japanese cars like the current-generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan and a Honda NSX. There's even an old first-generation Mitsubishi Lancer, but what really got our attention the most was the very first C10-series Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Fast Five is probably the most entertaining yet most coherent movie in the entire The Fast And The Furious franchise, and the post-credit scene only makes us want to see the sixth installment ASAP.
Photos from Fast and Furious Facebook page